Was it all a mix-up? Hundreds of people in Veracruz, Mexico protested the filming of Mel Gibson's new movie this week, even before production got underway. As Elisabeth Rappe noted earlier this month, one prison in Veracruz was all set to empty its jail cells and transfer the 1,000 inmates to a new prison under construction nearby so Mel could have the place to himself. (He's financing and producing the project.) That didn't sit too well with the families of prisoners, who are "the only source of food and clean clothing" for inmates, Variety reported; moving inmates would require families to relocate as well. The protests were halted when the prison warden told the families he'd let them know if he got any orders to transfer anybody, according to USA Today, roughly equivalent to 'Don't
protest call us, we'll call you.'
You'd think Gibson would know better. He filmed Apocalypto in Veracruz in 2006, and reportedly donated $1 million for hurricane relief, again according to USA Today. And his movie, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, which he wrote, centers on in a career criminal incarcerated in a Mexican prison who must rely on the help of a young boy to survive. You know, because family is important.
Gibson might want to consider spending a little time with the families on the next visitor's day. That could only add to his understanding of the character he'll be playing, and possibly demonstrate a degree of empathy for the plight of families supporting their loved ones behind bars. Or is that too much to ask?